I used to think that way also, Bill. I'll take my chances in a gunfight. Problem is, a lot of the time there is no opportunity of a gun "fight". I changed my mind about this several years ago when Imight have been killed, had I been carrying a gun.
Here's the story: quite a few years ago I drove a cab in Boston. I was between jobs in my usual profession and driving a cab seemed like a good way to make a few bucks while interviewing for regular work. When working a night shift, I had gotten in the habit of carrying a small caliber pistol with me, stashed under the driver's seat. This one night I had inadvertently left the gun at home. I got robbed at knife-point. Three young men, quite professional about it. Got into the cab while I was at a taxi stand in front of the Lenox Hotel near Copley Square and gave me an address in Dorchester. The address turned out to be an empty lot, with some houses under construction on the lot. These guys knew just what they were doing. They had knives at my throat the moment I had shifted into "park." They knew how to read my waybill, ascertaining just how much cash I should have in my possession from the entries on the waybill. While one guy held the knife near my jugular, another counted the cash and a third did a quick but thorough inspection of the cab to see what else of value I might have. They found no gun, thank God, because I'm sure they would have shot me just to see if the gun was loaded and working properly. They didn't cut me. All they cut was the cord on my radio mike so I couldn't call in for help on the two-way radio. They left me there with my cab and ran off with the money.
I said a prayer of thanks that on that particular night I had not been carrying any firearm.